Our DnD characters wouldn’t be truly ours if we didn’t have abilities and qualities that set them apart from each other. Feats are just one thing that can mark the progression of your character and make them different from others in your playgroup.
You might be wondering how to get feats in DnD, especially since so many of them are quite useful. I’ll be discussing that in this post, as well as answering some common questions about feats.
What are Feats?
So, what is a feat? That seems like as good a starting point as any.
A feat is an ability that corresponds with a talent your character has. It could be a natural quality your character has that comes from their racial background, or it may be something they trained to learn.
The feats available and how you get them vary based on which edition you play in. I guess I should note here that we’ll specifically be discussing the Fifth Edition of Dungeons and Dragons, because that is both the most recent and beginner-friendly version.
If you’d like to see a whole list of possible feats from 5e, you can check out this comprehensive list.
How to Get Feats in DnD
Technically, feats are optional – you might not even have them in your campaign. However, I’ve personally never played a game where we didn’t have feats. They’re a fun way to customize your characters, after all.
Assuming your campaign is using feats, you’ll find detailed information on them in the Player’s Handbook. You’ll be able to get them when there’s an increase in your character’s Ability Scores.
When your character’s Ability Scores change depends on your class. Generally, it occurs when you reach certain levels, such as 4, 8, 12, 16, and 19.
Keep in mind that if you use feats, you’re choosing not to take the Ability Score increase. You’ll get the feat instead, unless you happen to choose a feat that also increases one of your Ability Scores.
Does DnD 5e have feats?
The short answer to that question is yes. Fifth Edition Dungeons and Dragons does have feats, but the truth is that they’re optional.
It will be up to your DM largely to decide whether or not you can use the list of feats in the Player’s Handbook. Again, however, I’ve never played in a campaign where we didn’t use feats.
Can you learn feats in 5e?
In some tabletop RPG systems, you can increase your skills simply by making time in-game to practice them. This is semi-true, for example, with Call of Cthulhu, which allows you to incrementally increase your skills based on if you used them successfully in a story.
Is this same thing possible for DnD 5e? Not really. Typically, you only gain new feats when your Ability Scores would increase, which as we mentioned earlier, usually occurs when you reach specific levels.
At the end of the day, though, this depends on your DM. There’s no reason why they couldn’t have a homebrewed rule allowing you to pick up feats in other ways.
Do you get a feat at level 1 in 5e?
Another question many min-maxers will probably ask is if there’s any way to get feats right off the bat. The answer to that particular question is sort of.
There is one way to game the system here, and that’s to play as a variant human. Instead of taking the +1 bonus to all your Ability Scores in character creation, you can choose to take that bonus for two of your scores and then get one feat.
If that sounds small, we’d remind you to look at this list of feats again. Choosing the right feat can give you a huge bonus depending on the kind of character you’re playing.
Of course, your group can also utilize its own rules about feats, too.
Read Next: Why is DnD so Complicated?
How many feats are in 5e?
There’s honestly quite a long list of feats in the fifth edition of Dungeons and Dragons. I’ve found exactly eighty of them.
However, you can take a look at the full list yourself. Remember that these are just the feats included in the book.
As always, it’s possible to come up with feats of your own if your DM allows it.
If you’re new to Dungeons and Dragons, building a new character and improving on an old one can seem complicated. Put in the time and effort, though, and I think you’ll love watching your character grow into a real hero (or villain – I won’t judge). Got any other questions about the game? You can let me know in the comments below or check out our Dungeons and Dragons section to see if we’ve answered it yet.